1 like on your post.
Clearly common sense ideas. For the record, just because you think they're good ideas, does not common sense make.
I guess... But there's really three common threads to these ideas. One is to both reveal and emphasize the context of critical hidden UI elements for Desktop users expecting them to be visible and remove superfluous elements offering no
functionality that would apply to the current environment. Two is to offer more flexibility in how Metro apps can be used if Microsoft expects Desktop users to take advantage of them. Three is to more closely align TileWorld with the world of the Desktop unless Microsoft expects users to live in either one or the other (but the forced Metro elements even on the Desktop seem to suggest otherwise). So in short: Visibility, Clarity, Discoverability,Flexibility and Unity/Consistency. Now to be sure, I would expect Microsoft to improve substantially
on these specific off-the-top-of-my-head ideas that were a result of a few lazy hours, but conceptually these all seem like fairly common sense UI ideas (to me) and are very much in line with widespread criticism
of the interface. But hey, maybe users in the real world will prove me wrong and take to the UI like a fish to water.
But really, Is this really as well thought-out as some here seem to suggest?
The universal search icon is an awesome conceptual idea in theory, which I very much like. Whenever you think of searching, and regardless of the content you're looking for, there's just this one single (albeit hidden) icon to click no matter your place in the UI. But in practice, you have Metro apps that can't
be searched despite the availability of the icon, Metro apps that can
be searched but not via the Search charm, Metro apps that can
be searched via the Search charm yet still
duplicate the functionality via an additional Find icon (so why not just show a search box instead) Desktop apps that that can or can't be searched but never via the Search Charm and you have the systemwide search which is unselected if you're in a Metro app and thus still takes additional clicks, which is even the case when you're outside of a Metro app, since you need to specifically think of and make your selection according to whether you're looking for either a file, a setting or an app. So in the end, has usability increased? Has Microsoft lowered the hurdle and decreased the cognitive overhead necessary to successfully navigate the UI? Is it satisfying to use? Is the result actually better
than a systemwide visible search icon plus an app-specific search box consistently visible at the same place whenever the app supports searching.
And to a lesser extent the situation is similar with the Settings icon. Great idea in theory, but in practice, on the Desktop at least, it breaks down fairly quickly. Especially when you start to hide actions in there (like the power options) that used to be rather discoverable and much quicker to use before.
And all of that would be easier to get used to if it wasn't for the fact that Microsoft have chosen to hide all of these critical UI elements, yet seem to see no issue with frivolously placing a gigantic Start header on the fullscreen launcher.
And, yeah, it totally makes sense that you used to be able to click on the systemwide control panel entry in the Start menu, yet perusing the global Settings from the universal Start screen merely presents you with Settings for that very page you're on (Settings for
Start, not start
here to get to Settings, that totally
makes more sense than before)...
...and then a selection of plus a link to an actually very narrow subset of systemwide settings.
But, don't despair, you get a link to the control panel once you're in a Desktop app. No such luck when you're in a Metro app though.
Never mind the fact that certain textual elements and even buttons that are
visible are nevertheless hard to identify as clickable in the first place.
And when your users (seem to) demand a windowed desktop search options, when they would like an option to boot to the Desktop, when they would like to see Metro apps in parallel to their existing applications it seems like common sense to simply offer them that functionality instead of forcing them to adapt to something that they like worse. It might make sense (again, common sense) to at least make sure there are no regressions
in the new interface for Desktop users choosing to totally circumvent the added Metro environment (in so far as that is possible) if they already don't profit greatly from (positive) changes that the Metro environment has brought to Windows 8.